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If a Virtual Tree Falls in a Simulated Forest, is the Sound Restorative? An Examination of the Role of Level of Immersion in the Restorative Capacity of Virtual Nature Environments

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Date Issued:
2019
Abstract/Description:
Stress and cognitive fatigue have become a pervasive problem, especially in Western society. Stress and cognitive fatigue can have deleterious effects not only on performance, but also on one's physical and mental health. This dissertation presents a study in which the aim is to investigate the effects of virtual nature on stress reduction and cognitive restoration. Specifically, this study assessed the effects of Immersion (Non-immersive, Semi-immersive, Fully-immersive) and Exploration (Passive vs Active) on stress reduction and cognitive restoration. Additionally, restoration from the most effective virtual nature environment was compared to that of taking an active coloring break. Eighty-three university students with normal color vision, depth perception and good visual acuity participated in this study. The overall findings of the study suggest that virtual nature is able to reduce stress and anxiety, generally the more immersive and interactive the better. Moreover, though both the those in the passive VR nature condition and those in the coloring condition reported a reduction in stress, only those in the passive VR nature condition exhibited the physiological changes indicative of stress reduction.
Title: If a Virtual Tree Falls in a Simulated Forest, is the Sound Restorative? An Examination of the Role of Level of Immersion in the Restorative Capacity of Virtual Nature Environments.
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Name(s): Michaelis, Jessica, Author
Smither, Janan, Committee Chair
Mcconnell, Daniel, Committee Member
Beidel, Deborah, Committee Member
Harris, Paul, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2019
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Stress and cognitive fatigue have become a pervasive problem, especially in Western society. Stress and cognitive fatigue can have deleterious effects not only on performance, but also on one's physical and mental health. This dissertation presents a study in which the aim is to investigate the effects of virtual nature on stress reduction and cognitive restoration. Specifically, this study assessed the effects of Immersion (Non-immersive, Semi-immersive, Fully-immersive) and Exploration (Passive vs Active) on stress reduction and cognitive restoration. Additionally, restoration from the most effective virtual nature environment was compared to that of taking an active coloring break. Eighty-three university students with normal color vision, depth perception and good visual acuity participated in this study. The overall findings of the study suggest that virtual nature is able to reduce stress and anxiety, generally the more immersive and interactive the better. Moreover, though both the those in the passive VR nature condition and those in the coloring condition reported a reduction in stress, only those in the passive VR nature condition exhibited the physiological changes indicative of stress reduction.
Identifier: CFE0007687 (IID), ucf:52516 (fedora)
Note(s): 2019-08-01
Ph.D.
Sciences, Psychology
Doctoral
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Cognitive Restoration -- Nature -- Virtual Reality -- Stress -- Physiological
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0007687
Restrictions on Access: campus 2022-08-15
Host Institution: UCF

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